We all have those moments when eating healthy just isn’t in the cards. We get a craving, have a weak moment or we are simply just to lazy. As long as we know our limits, it’s ok to let go every once in a while. But there are many people who can’t afford to be lazy or have a weak moment, because doing so can really harm their health.
For those of us with slightly less severe digestive sensitivities the most important thing to remember is to listen to our bodies. Your body is your best defense; it knows when you’ve gone overboard or have had enough of the “unhealthy” food. Those signs usually come in the form of indigestion, bloating, fatigue, heartburn, or what the lovely probiotic commericals playfully call “tummy troubles”. My moment came yesterday; for the last few days eating super healthy just wasn’t on my playlist. But as we went out to dinner last night my body spoke loud and clear; as I sat there staring at the menu, eyeing up the famous fish fry from McKenzies Bar and Grille on Lakeshore Rd in Hamburg NY, my body was telling me NO, not again! It takes will power and mental adjusting to get your body and mind to sinc together. As much as I was craving the fish fry, I knew ordering it would be nothing but detremental to my stomach. My stomach was feeling off and my energy was low, so after a little heart to heart between my body and my mind, I did the right thing and ordered, what ended up being, an amazing grecian chicken salad ($8.99). This salad is the perfect dish for those with heavy appetites but sour stomachs. A generous portion of grilled lemon pepper chicken is served on a bed of fresh mixed lettuce tossed with greek olives, tomatos, cucumbers, red onion and pepperocini. Now this salad is normally served with a heavy dose of feta cheese; I asked our server to leave out the cheese and put the pepperocini on the side. They accomodated without a fuss. The dressing for this salad is a light mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, fusing the elements of the salad together perfectly. But what really impressed me was the dill dip that wasn’t on my plate. Having noticed that the dish calls for dill dip, I kindly asked our server if they forgot to add it, she stated that the chef left it off when noticing I asked for no cheese; because the dip is made with heavy dairy! Talk about an eye for detail….
Since my stomach was on the fritz, I opted out of having a glass of red wine and replaced that with a nice hot cup of tea; Western NY hasn’t made up its mind yet on whether it’s still winter or spring. Now I did say that McKenzie’s fish fry is famous, and so it would be to much to ask my husband to pass that up. The fish fry ($10.99) is served all year round and surprisingly is more fish then fry. Lightly breaded, the haddock is served fresh daily and comes with an assortment of accoutrements. And for those who absolutely can’t resist a fried meal; McKenzie’s offers a “child size” portion of this amazing fish fry. I’m a big believer in portion control; it’s the best way to splurge a little without regreting it the next day. While the menu offers a wide range of foods (yes they do offer pasta, although having had it once before I was less than impressed) McKenzie’s is best known for their seafood and meat dishes; all of which is served fresh. From the mahi mahi to the salmon, from the succulant grilled chicken to the tender steak, I have never been disappointed. Every time I come to McKenzie’s I feel like I’ve just arrived in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The atmosphere is warm and friendly; the decor rustic and sea worthy. The sailboat wallpaper and large bay windows have an unobstructed view of Lake Erie in the main dining room, giving the restaurant a charming New England feel; something that is hard to achieve in Western NY. With the perfect view, great setting and options for those who want, or need, to eat healthy McKenzie’s is a great find. This place will surely make my summer hit list for dining out.
A final word; while it’s easy to let go sometimes and eat all the wrong things, we do need trust our bodies and listen to them. When we feed or bodies with healthy, nutritous foods, we see a transformation; not only in how our bodies respond to healthy eating, but how our minds and attitudes change toward wanting to eat healthy. Replacing a few simple bad eating habits a day with healthier options (like non fat yogurt with blueberries, instead of a bag of chips or that chocolate chip granola bar you brought to work), adds up to a big change by week’s end. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about nutrition and healthy living, it’s this: it’s NOT our bodies that crave junk food, it’s our minds. Our brains do all the talking, when what we need to do is listen more to our physical self. Listening to our bodies can make eating out a great and happy experience!